Missouri Lawmaker Withdraws Bill That Would Have Revoked Scholarships Of Protesting Student Athletes
Earlier this week, we reported about a new bill proposed by Missouri representative Rick Brattin, calling for the revocation of student athlete scholarships if they participate in any protest or demonstration on campus.
According to The Kansas City Star, the Kansas City area lawmaker, has withdrawn it.
The bill, as both Brattin and his co-sponsor Kurt Bahr, have said was in direct response to the University of Missouri football team refusing to play any more games until the school’s president Tim Wolfe resigned.
The withdrawal comes less than a week after Brattin proposed the measure after it spurred strong debate across the state and nation, wondering if it infringed upon the rights of free speech for college athletes.
The bill also included fines for coaches who encouraged the protests or boycotts.
Brattin issued this statement.
“While I am withdrawing the legislation, I hope the conversation will continue so that we can take steps to ensure the University of Missouri is providing a stable, positive learning environment for our young people,” the statement said. “I sincerely believe students should be able to express their viewpoints, but I also believe our flagship state university has to keep and maintain the order that is expected from such an esteemed educational institution.”
Another Kansas City representative, Brandon Ellington, a Democrat, said Brattin made the right decision by withdrawing his bill.
“This unconstitutional legislation never should have been filed in the first place,” Ellington’s statement said. “Seeking to punish those who peacefully take a stand against racial injustice violates not only the constitutional right to free speech but the values we hold as Missourians.”